Monday, July 13, 2009

WHERE IS MY MIND?

PROLOGUE:

Okay, I am anxious!! This part of my life's journey, which began essentially two summer's ago has been one of increments. I have purposely segmented this part of my life, because I have rushed through others and I want to cross and dot what needs to be crossed and dotted before I move on.

The aim is to not come back to Detroit again.

Perhaps there will be two reasons to come back thru here ... Skye and my Dad. For reasons that are too convoluted to write about, the latter would be unlikely, as to the former ... well, I have to accept what I have to accept. I have come to terms with our relationship, and that is that with that.

DAYDREAMING AS I DO THE DISHES

I think the most recent Time Magazine had a cover story about marriage and fidelity. Read it when I was in Royal Oak this weekend, and took some notes. Then you had Steve McNair, former football star and Arturo Gatti, one time world champion boxer, die very possibly at the hands of their lover and wife. And I am like 'Wuz up wit' dem bee-otches!'

Actually, I didn't say that, but it was fun to write! But it did make me go back to what I thought when I decided that it would be better if I stopped messing with people's emotions.

There are things that I say and profess to believe in, that could be construed as anti-women. I usually respond with the 'I don't date men' line, when someone, usually a female (I sorta think that would not need to be pointed out, but you never know ... on the NGC last night, there was a show about a society where there are 5, count 'em, 5 sexual designations!!), tries to peg me as a typical man. Since we are engaged in what amounts to an 'intellectual pillow fight' of stereotypes, I would laugh them off. But the reality is that the social system is tilted against women in relationships. It is still hard for them to initate and dictate the terms of a relationship, and by wanting to establish those things for a woman is frowned upon by society.

"When a married man begins a secret, solicitous correspondence with a beautiful and emotionally needy single woman, he has already begun to cheat on his wife." -from Time Magazine cover story, 13Jul09

That was part of why I told the particulars to my life to people up front, or as early into the relationship as I dared, because once someone 'gets all' into you, it is like you are setting a trap. In that sentence, the key word is 'secret'. I used to hear it all the time, that if a woman only knew what they were getting into, they could then make an informed decision on the level of their involvement in a relationship.

But whenever someone has to keep you hidden from key people in their lives, then there is nothing good in store for you in a relationship with that person. Going back to who and how the terms are dictated, it is dependent on the providence of the person initiating the relationship, usually the man, on what the terms are. And since women are often needy and therefore vulnerable ...

I have no idea of why Steve McNair would want to have a relationship with someone as unbalanced as a 20-year old ... since there was a passage of time, it was begun when she was what, 18, 19 years old? This is after a brilliant football career, and a marriage that resulted in 4 children ... a 20 year old?

That is another reason that I never wanted to be 'the old man in the club'. I don't honestly know when a woman hits her 'engaged emotional maturity'. Women may mature in other ways quicker than men, but for them, finding themselves as women in a relationship seems to be very hit or miss idea.

One of the things that maturity brings is an appreciation for life. Because in the case of Arturo Gatti, his wife is only 23 years old. There were reportedly blows exchanged between them ... and that he was possibly passed out drunk when she strangled him allegedly with her purse.

Wow. I was 23 when my ex wife was at her peak ... and I remember thinking that she could have seriously hurt me, or worse. Acelino Fretias, a former boxer himself and good friend to Arturo, said that there was trouble in the marriage and that Gatti was considering leaving her.

Nope ... I won't ever have a regret for leaving my wife when I did. You can say this, and you can say that ... but if any of the things that likely are going to be said to me had mattered to HER, she wouldn't have been assaulting me. Period, end of story.

SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

I have asked myself that question before, and the answer is still elusive to pin down. I used to say that if my ex wife had simply kept her hands to herself, we may have found a way to make things work. This is an objective opinion, as there are relationships that grow thru their early turmoil. But personally, ours wasn't going to be in that number.

So I left her and had ... wait, lets get it right. I hung out with one girl, my friend, the Fly Skimmie. Because that was it as far as extramarital stuff, I didn't consider it the same as what Gov. Mark Sanford did. Splitting hairs, I know. But they do it with murder and manslaughter, don't they Donte Stallworth?

If I had known then as clearly as what I know now, why I was 'out of the house' (which I was, by the way), I would have handled myself differently. Because it wasn't about the sex or anything, but the marriage itself.

"Adultery is not about sex and romance. ultimately it is about how little we mean to each other." -Lenoard Michaels

At some point, we begun to either mean (or show) little value for each other. That is something that since I have seen in the lives of others and where a big part of my own guilt an acceptance comes from. While I don't wonder why Mookie didn't treat me as well as she should have, considering the status of our involvement with each other, I figured it was a 'turnabout'. People had invested a lot of their heart's content in me in the past.

The article went on to mention that it wasn't as if Gov. Sanford (and Sen. Engler of Nev.) were "... a couple of tools stuck in sexless marriages and making up for it with internet porn...(they) embarked on dangerously erotic rampages with real life unencumbered women ..."

For men, I think that it is less about the hormones than one would think. I also think that the power aspect of extra-relational affairs gets over played. All of these cats I have mentioned here, save Arturo Gatti, were involved enough to say they were 'deep' into the relationship. What was it that made them step out? It wasn't something that was wanton or impulsive, I don't think.

Could the men have felt undervalued, that their wives didn't appreciate them? Because it is an unsympathetic position, I wonder what the men were feeling in their marriages because it is unlikely to really come out. I can only speak for myself, in that I don't think my ex wife gave a damn, and Mookie didn't really care to actually work at a relationship. She expected it to be astride a 'fine arab charger'.

BACK ON MESSAGE

The article also called marriage in the United States (and it did single US out from other Western, industrialized countries) "... an increasingly fragile construct depending less on notions of sacrifice and obligation than the epherma of romance and happiness as defined for and by its adult principles, the intact two parent family remains our cultural ideal, but is under constant assault."

To me, the article says that we are too selfish for the ideal of the two parent nuclear family. We want to find our own fulfillment outside of the fulfillment and pleasure of making a family. There is something to that, but I also thinks that it makes personal happiness a secondary goal in a marriage. I think like the notion of 'Mars and Venus', the thinking that finding personal happiness is somehow
separate from happiness in a family, it also sends the negative message that it is impossible to have your happiness in a family, in a monogamous relationship.

Obligation and sacrifice has gotten such a bad rap ... so much seems directed at personal pleasure and fulfillment. Unfortunately, for many women that is what happens, and 'anything' gets put inside of them by men who are as empty and shallow as they are.

For a time, I always had those two qualities near the top of my '10 things about me' list. This time, I am going to let it ride that my next relationship partner understands this about me, that want the yoke of being exclusive to them and am willing to make what sacrifices needed to reach our goals.

EPILOGUE:

Doesn't this entry remind you of an old 'Streets of San Fransico' episode? Anywho, I am very anxious, because time is going to fly by! It helps that someone elses thinks that this is the right thing for them and their lives too!

5 comments:

a corgi said...

it is good that you are working on this with someone who has the same thoughts as you do, Mark; it will definitely help with all the things that will need to be done in the weeks ahead

don't give up on Skye; you never know as she matures and becomes a young adult if she'll decide to have a relationship with you

betty

Mr.Mischief said...

I agree with you for sure on the up front part - I don't hold anything back from anyone, my friends (and Miss Alaineus) know everything about me, I like it that way..I think that someone knowing everything about me good and bad helps them to understand why I deal with things the way i do and why i may act one way or another.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I hear where you are coming from, but disagree with the aspect of women not dictating the terms of a relationship. My experience as been just the opposite - but then again, that was then, this is now :o) I know that you will not dictate the terms of your current situation, but share in the decisions.

Beth said...

I have that issue sitting just to my right, waiting to be read. I'll be interested to see if my reaction to some of it is the same as yours.

Your remark about dating someone who keeps you from meeting their closest relationships...AMEN! I made that mistake once, and it should be a definite red alert--danger, Will Robinson, danger!--to anyone.

Love, Beth

krissy knox said...

Good for you for wanting what you want Mark -- exclusivity, someone to work on mutual goals, someone who wants to sacrifice with you, someone who seeks your needs as well as their own, someone who believes in the family. Well good for you is all I can say. And please try not to get cynical. There are a lot of good women out there! Just as there are great men!

krissy knox :)
my twitter:
http://twitter.com/iamkrissy